I don?t know if any of you have been following the Madoff scandal. I see there are many parallels to cultic involvement. It also shows just how ingrained in our society cultic behavior has become. Not only is the ?believe it and it will happen? become a catch phrase for our politicians (Obama included) but we are beginning to see the unthinkable beginning to take place. i.e. 50 Billion dollar swindles, oil prices moving close to 30% literally overnight, companies stock prices moving 10-20% in a week, bank stocks falling below the price of a latte @ Starbucks, foreclosures in the millions, and the major American auto makers on the verge of going belly up just to name a few.
It seems to me that the more incredible things get, the more we are being suggested to not look at reality. The Fed won?t let us know who is getting all those dollars the gov. has been giving away, or how much they are getting. Oil companies continue to consolidate unabatedly. Banks and other financial institutions are doing the same. Money and power move hand in hand. The amount of hands are becoming fewer with the power for the remaining few growing exponentially.
Here is a guy who was Vice chairman of the National Association of Securities dealers as well as being a member of the board of governors and chairman of the trading committee for NASDAQ. He was a pillar of the investment community for over 30 years. (One pillar gone). He was a benefactor of many charities. Those who invested with him looked upon him and endowed to him God like qualities. After all, they figured he must have the inside track to what was happening. In addition, his investment strategy could not be beat as far as returns go.
Much like in a cult, for those who are close to the inner circle, information was compartmentalized and a portion of his business was highly secretive, to the point of having a separate floor that only certain people could access in his offices.
His larger clients were savvy enough to know that the returns were an aberration and more then likely worked on a don?t ask mentality that is part of the human nature of capitalism
It is going to be interesting to see, if it ever comes out, the timing of when he turned from legitimate investments to the Ponzi scam and what motivated him as far as circumstances etc.
Since he apparently has confessed and acknowledged the whole scam hopefully we will get a glimpse into the how?s, whys, from the perpetrator.
Many who were burnt by him are going through the same despondency that an ex-cult member would. Not just because they lost money, but also because they are asking themselves how could they have fallen for such a scam, and the nagging feeling that they participated in some ways as well as the friends and family they may have involved
Madoff started out a good guy and then fell victim to greed, power and a seeming invulnerability that most cult leaders feel until some or many Davids takes down the Golieth.
Much like Madoff, Charlie Manson?s group started out well, as a free love, utopian community. Not a bad thing, especially when one considers the context of the times. RSE members would do themselves a service reading up on Manson?s group, the changes they went through and the philosophy and psychology that was put forward to the members by Manson.
Going from open heart and love, to finally moving to an Armageddon of race war and the need to survive to build the new world after, the parallels to how RSE teachings have progressed over the years are compelling. The turbulent times when the Manson group existed are quite similar to the past decade. Only the circumstances are different.
Another difference I see is the acceptance of the general public for abuse in its various forms. Abuse is being accepted as being a way of life. Not so much a physical one though it may effect ones health as well as welfare but a psychological one in which information is controlled and dialed up or down as needed.
In a way, both in the Madoff scandal and the Manson murders I am reminded of the way the news of Jonestown played out. At first there were a couple of hundred reported to have committed suicide, then a hundred more, and more, until finally the horror of the truth of the numbers and circumstances of their deaths finally came forward to the disbelief and miscomprehension of many.
Madoff is not only a financial equivalent of Jonestown, but also more then likely a greater event in financial terms and the psyche then 911. As I see it though, there is not a proportionate amount of attention being paid to it.
The question being asked in the Madoff scandal is ?How could the regulators have missed it?? This question will probably persist much like the question about members of Manson?s group, RSE and others as to how could they have believed and accepted what was being taught or preached. Those of you who have experienced it first hand understand how compelling it all sounded at the time.
Madoff was a financial God; Manson took on the persona of Christ, much like JZ/R claims. All take advantage of a chaotic world to sell the appearance of order and safety. A seductive sell.
The Big Dude has used these times to further her/his agenda though it appears his/her world is just as fragile as anyone?s perhaps even more so. It may be that his/her predictions are more likely a projection of his/her own demise as inevitable. However, much like the Hydra when one head gets cut off, another grows.
Times like we are entering into now are fertile ground for cults and cons. I expect to see the number of groups and types of groups expand and mutate in the coming years as a response to the times.
That said, perhaps those, like myself who have had involvement in the cultic world are simply oversensitive to the situation. While I hope so, I think not.
This is just a bit of venting as I look back on the previous year and look forward to the coming one. I thought it might be an interesting topic to explore as we move into the New Year.
I am not discounting the possible silver linings that may come of this all and do not want to be a chicken little (I think I may be post chicken little!) So, I am still thankful for all this universe has offered me and allowed me to participate in as well as all of you on the board.
A happy and healthy holiday season to all!!! And, warm wishes for the New Year!!!